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Reviews (46)
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Reviewed 25 September 2016

I have had the pleasure of staying at Kasawari Lembeh Resort 5 times, 2 on FAM trips and 3 bring other divers to this destination. On my first trip, it had only been open for a few short months, I was on a FAM lead by Ernie Arellano of Scuba Diving Resources and was accompanied by some of the best photographers in the industry! My roommate was Mart Snyderman and we had dive shop owners and travel specialist all in the group! On our 1st day of diving, we were taken down to the briefing station and were asked what we wanted to see. The group came up with 32 species that they want to see. After the 2nd day, we had seen 29 of them. If you are planning a trip to Indonesia for a little diving, don't miss out on diving Lembeh Straights and try to stay at Kasawari Lembeh resort, it will be on your top 3 best dive destination of your diving life. The resort it's-self is set back off the water with 1o bungalows in the back with 2 extra large bungalow set over the water. Their restaurant and bar are located on the second level of the main building. All meals are served there. You wake up to a cool breeze and end your day with the same. The dive photo center is located just below that and offers all levels of photographers the best opportunity to service your camera after every dive. The have 220 and 110 electricity and air conditioning. A few steps down from there is the dive center where your gear is taken from your front porch right to your station in the center. There you will find racks for your gear and then the only thing you will have to lift is your suit, booties and whatever gear you had taken off the boat. The guys will handle all the heavy gear, your camera and have them rinsed for the next day of diving. The have showers available and restrooms all at the center. Anything dry that you'd like to leave at the center, you will have a box with your unit number on it to store sandals and dry clothes. At the end of the day of diving, you are greeted by the staff with hot tea or coffee. Nice way to end the day! Lembeh is a must for those who have cameras! Some of the strangest animals will be seen in Lembeh Straights!

Room Tip: Plan your arrival for early in the day, you don't want to miss the 1st day of diving!
  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Diver2700
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2016

From the moment you arrive at Kasawari, you feel like you are in the Garden of Eden. The staff are very attentive and pleasant. The rooms are beyond luxurious and the food is delicious. I cannot express how wonderful the dive staff are! So knowledgeable and generous, especially Hanni and Detmon. They absolutely made this dive trip for me one of my favorite experiences of my life.

  • Stayed: March 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank jilliefish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2015

I decided to give myself a gift this Christmas morning and write a glowing review of Kasawari Lembah Resort. I was part of Sharon's group (Sharon has written an earlier review) and had been feeling uncertain about this "muck diving" business. I had never been to the Pacific before, nor had I ever had to dive in a wet suit. So, I had some anxiety upon my arrival, but it was quickly dispatched.

First, the dive operation is superlative. The dive masters are extremely competent and fun, warm human beings. I can't name most of the critters that I saw, but we saw hundreds! We would descend to the sandy bottom and think, "Nothing's here." Well, think again! Within a minute or two, that sandy bottom was hopping with life! We brought magnifying glasses to see the tiny creatures, and reef sticks so we could keep ourselves stable whilst viewing the tiny creatures. There was unbelievable variety and beauty! Of course, not everything was microscopic. On one dive we saw an octopus that must have been four feet tentacle to tentacle. And we saw octopi in every size between.

I had great difficulty keeping neutrally buoyant with my 5 mm wetsuit and subsequent 18 pounds of weight. My dive guide, Rusly, was ever at my side to help me, teach me, and grab one of my fins if I started floating upward. Towards the end of the trip I became more competent, but even if I didn't have Rusly by my side, I knew he was watching over me. (I subsequently discovered that a 5 mm wetsuit was overkill for me. I was perfectly comfortable in the 77 degree water with 1.5 ml shortie and 1.5 ml shirt and, most important, I then had control under the sea!)

I must say more about the dive operation. There were two big, fast boats. All of the dive sites were "five minutes" away. (And they were!) There were big plastic baskets under every tank where we could store all of our gear without ever having to lug it back and forth. Once we took off our wet suits, the dive guides rinsed them for us and hung them up. When we came up cold from the dive, they handed out hot towels for our faces and necks. They served us delicious fruit. Sharon requested hot tea, and from then on, hot tea it was.

The resort staff was superb. Herman, the new acting manager, saw to our every need. All of the staff quickly memorized our names and we had personal service galore. One time I was walking back to my room and one of the groundskeepers looked up and said, "Hello, Peggy!" I am not making this up! I decided that I had to write a song for my beloved Rusly to thank him for all of his help. I composed one to the Beatle's "I Want to Hold Your Hand," Herman found the tune and played it for the staff who were musicians, and they practiced it. Herman then typed and copied the lyrics, so that all of us could sing to Rusly at the good-bye concert the staff does for the guests at the last lunch. We had so much fun, and Rusly was agog. Afterwards, strains of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" could be heard floating around the grounds.

I must say something about the infinity pool. Some of us went into the pool after every single dive and the water temperature was always perfect. In the morning it was cool and in the afternoon when we were cold after our third dive, it was warm. The pool is surrounded by beautiful tropical flowers and swallows sometimes would whiz by our heads to sip the water. In the mornings, people practiced yoga and meditation by the pool.

I must say in all modesty that we were a very fun group who knew how to appreciate the resort and staff. And because we were fun, they became even more fun! After a while, none of us could be stopped. There was laughter every hour of every day. I most certainly hope Herman has been made permanent manager, because he was a shining star.

The musical "noise?" Yes, we could hear call to prayers and other music from the village. It was not that loud and we never heard it in our rooms. Nor did it ever bother us during lunch. In fact, it was rather nice and cheerful. Perhaps the village toned it down, or perhaps we don't have particularly sensitive ears.

When we left the resort, some tears were shed by staff and guests alike. Herman still emails some of us and, in fact, emailed "Merry Christmas" to me, and thus precipitated my determination to write this review. I have only one word to sum up this glorious experience: "GO!"

  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank peggy123644
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2015

First, the staff is amazing. We had some missing bags when we first landed in Manado, and the staff went out of their way to work with the airlines to get our bags delivered. Everyonce from the front desk staff, the dining staff and the dive guides go out of their way to ensure the best possible experience.

The villas are really special....large and airy, complete with a huge bathroom that boasts both indoor and outdoor shower areas. The ladies in my group all commented how much they liked the provided soap, shampoo, and conditioner. The queen size beds are very comfortable, with crisp sheets and linens.

The best part of the entire trip was the diving! This is a place to see critters not commonly found anywhere except for the Indo-Pacific area. When you arrive, the dive staff asks what you would like to see, and they put it on a "wish list" so they can keep score of what is remaining. You never have to handle your dive gear....when you arrive, there is a large basket outside your villa, and all you need to do is put all your gear into it and the staff takes care of the rest. Your gear is set up daily on the boat; all you need to do is grab your wetsuit from the large drying rack and enjoy the short boat ride to the dive site. When you return from a dive, the staff takes your wetsuit and booties for a rinse, then hangs them out to dry for you.

There were a number of photographers in my group, and they all were very complimentary of the spacious camera room. Inside the camera room are individual work stations, complete with dry towels, 220 volt power and limited 110 volt power supplies. Just like the dive gear, once our camera rigs were set up the way we wished the staff would take them from the camera room in their own basket, and place it next to the huge rinse tanks for us to dunk before it was taken to the boat. All the dive staff are extremely careful with expensive camera gear.

The typical day starts with a cold breakfast around 630am....juices, coffee, cereal, and toast. The first dive departs at 730am, followed by the hot breakfast which consisted of eggs cooked to order, bacon or ham, potatoes, fruit and other local specialties. Lunch was ordered during the hot breakfast from a large men board. The second morning dive left at 1030am, returning for lunch. The afternoon dive left at 230pm, returning around 4pm, where a snack was waiting, and ordering of dinner.

The food is good, locally prepared dishes abound, and there is always something for everyone's tastes.

I had visited the resort in 2006 when it first opened and was pleasantly surprised by how much it had matured in the years since my first visit. The grounds are beautifully manicured, and for the most part the place is very quiet. Yes, some of the locals tend to have their music a bit loud at rare times, but most of the time we were diving, so it was not a problem. In fact one morning one of the locals had the song "Morning Has Broken" playing, which we all thought was appropriate.

All in all, a great trip for those dedicated underwater photographers and divers who want to see the truly unusual critters and be well taken care of by a caring and well trained staff.

  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank ColinZylka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2015

We are owners of Aquatic World dive shop in Syracuse, New York. Our travel department hosts group dive trips worldwide and we offer about six group trips a year. We recently revisited Kasawari Resort with 13 divers and all agreed the travel to this destination was worth every hour spent in transit (38hrs including layovers). Our first trip to this resort was in May, 2013. My husband and I went to "check it out". We do not take anyone to a destination until we have been ourselves and evaluated the accommodations, food, service, dive operation, and diving. We were thrilled to return with divers in tow to find everything just as good, or better, than our first visit.
This is a boutique hotel with 10 villas surrounding a lovely garden with an infinity pool at the water's edge. The dining room is upstairs in an open area overlooking the grounds and Lembeh Strait. All villas are very comfortable with a very large bathroom and an outdoor shower, air conditioning, super comfy beds and pillows, and a hot pot for making coffee or tea.
The food was delicious and attention to our likes was noted by the staff and every effort was made to please each of us. Our group loves ice cream so ice cream was available at lunch and dinner. We like our coffee early so the staff made coffee available at an early hour for us. The afternoon après dive snack was always a hot delicious baked good. One day I noted that it was so good I thought they should serve it with ice cream for dessert after dinner. That night it was served to me after dinner with ice cream. The chef heard we liked his pineapple basil dressing and so he presented me with a bottle to bring home.
The service this resort delivers just does not get any better than this. We all came to love Herman, the stand-in resort manager, who was filling in for a very recent vacated post. He took ownership of every request we made, and every problem we presented him with. The communication was open 24 hours a day. He insisted we call him at any hour for anything we needed. Every employee we encountered was sincere and working hard to please us.
The diving was outstanding! The dive staff is so good at finding and identifying creatures. And they are excited about it! It's like they are taking their children to Disney World for the first time.....and we are their children! We made trip tee shirts for everyone and we put a blue ring octopus on it with our biggest hope to have all see this very beautiful creature. Our group was split on two boats and each boat was served up blue ring's not once, but twice! Another creature I wanted to see was the Melibe Colmani, a transparent nudibranch, very beautiful and ghostlike. This request was fulfilled within 5 minutes of our very first dive. Other sightings include bobtail squid, ghostpipe fish, pygmy seahorses, coconut octopi, reef octopi, mimics, wonderpus, nudiis galore, frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, mantis shrimp, and so much more.
The owner of this resort is Kasidith Snidvongs. He flew in the day after we arrived. His purpose to ensure we were well taken care of with the usurp in management. The above comments on service, and the many staff members who have worked for him since the resort opened in 2007 tell a story of a great leader . He is humble and genuine, and obviously inspires his staff.
We enjoyed every minute of our stay and will look forward to returning again and again.

  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Sharon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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